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Car bomb attack on Egyptian police building kills at least 14

Car bomb attack on Egyptian police building kills at least 14

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Published : 2013-12-24 20:11
Updated : 2013-12-24 20:11

MANSOURA, Egypt (AFP) ― A car bomb tore through a police building in an Egyptian city early Tuesday, killing at least 14 people, an attack the authorities said was aimed at derailing the country’s transition to democracy.

Hours after the bombing, Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi labeled the Muslim Brotherhood, the banned movement of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, a “terrorist” group, though the premier did not blame the organization for the blast.

The attack, one of the deadliest since the military removed Morsi from power in July, comes just weeks ahead of a referendum on Egypt’s new constitution that is billed as the first major step towards democracy after the Islamist leader’s overthrow.

The bomb ripped through the police headquarters in the city of Mansoura, northeast of Cairo, security officials said. Medics said at least 14 people were killed and more than 100 wounded.

The security sources said the explosion was massive and a part of the building had caved in.

“The majority of the casualties are from the police,” Omar al-Shawatsi, the governor of Daqahleya, of which Mansoura is the capital, told state media.

The impact of the explosion was felt around 20 kilometers away and shattered windows of nearby buildings, the security sources said.

The head of security for Daqahleya, Sami El-Mihi, was wounded in the blast and two of his aides were killed, security sources said.

An AFP correspondent at the scene said the building’s facade had been ripped off by the impact.

The wreckage of an armored police car stood nearby, while at least 10 civilian cars were damaged and a nearby building completely collapsed, he said.

Angry residents of the area vented fury at the Muslim Brotherhood.

“The Muslim Brotherhood is an international terrorist organization. They are responsible for what happened in Mansoura,” said Hamada Arafat, a school teacher said.

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